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Nederland, Groves Police busy with motorcycle crash & low speed chase

Motorists may have noticed an increase in police activity with two unrelated traffic responses Thursday night — one where a Nederland motorcyclist was injured in a crash and the other a low speed pursuit of a suspected drunk driver.

Motorcycle crash

A Nederland motorcyclist was leaving a convenience store at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Helena Avenue when he reportedly pulled out in front of a small car.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter said the man is around 60 years old and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The crash victim was very near his home when it occurred.

The victim was sent to a hospital and was last listed in critical but stable condition on Friday.

No citations were issued and the crash remains under investigation, Porter said.

Suspected DWI, police chase

There was some confusion across social media where people thought the motorcycle crash was related to a low speed pursuit of a suspected drunk driver.

The two were separate incidents.

Groves Police received a call of a suspected drunk driver in the vicinity of 25th Street and Taft Avenue approximately 8:50 p.m. Thursday, Chief Deputy Kirk Rice said.

“The caller stated a silver Dodge pickup was driving slow and was all over the roadway,” Rice said. “The caller followed the vehicle and continued to give officers the driver’s location.”

The truck turned toward Procter Street and onto Gulfway Drive and a Groves officer located the vehicle at Main Avenue and Gulfway Drive, at which time the driver failed to stop at a red light.

The officer activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the vehicle near Gulfway Drive and Orange Acres in Groves but the vehicle kept going.

The truck then continued west on Gulfway and turned onto Twin City Highway with the officer in pursuit, Rice said.

The driver continued forward, failing to stay in one lane and crossing all lanes of traffic including into oncoming traffic and ran several red lights as well.

The suspected drunk driver traveled through several cities and merged on U.S. 69 near Cardinal Drive in Beaumont. By that time deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office set out spike strips, which were successful and flattened all four tires of the fleeing man’s truck. This was on Cardinal Drive near the Florida Avenue overpass, Rice said.

“The driver of the vehicle exited and began to walk backwards away from the officers as officers were giving him commands to stop,” he said.

“At this time the subject began to run north away from officers. He jumped the center concrete divider and jumped over the overpass and fell approximately 10-15 feet onto the concrete embankment.”

The man was taken into custody and began complaining of chest pain and breathing issues.

He was brought to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont at which time he is recovering from several broken ribs, broken shoulder and vertebrae and a punctured lung.

Rice said a warrant will likely be issued for the man’s arrest. Possible charges include evading arrest and DWI.

The man’s name is not being released because he was not formally arrested. Rice said he is a 30-year-old male from Nederland.

The Groves Police Department is the lead on the case.